Armament and mass layoffs

Over 100 kilometers, 200,000 demonstrators in Germany form a human chain to campaign for peace and disarmament. In Moscow, too, people take to the streets against the stationing of new missiles in Europe. Cruise missiles, cruise missiles with atomic bombs, are to be set up in Great Britain. There, too, people protest.

Arms negotiations in Geneva

The agreement between the USA and the Soviet Union on the number of medium-range missiles deployed is a long time coming in Geneva. The Russians leave the negotiating table without naming a new meeting date.

The Russian side justifies its need for security and thus its growing armament with the Second World War, from which it was surprised unprepared. According to its own statements, NATO, under the leadership of the United States, needs its most modern weapons technology to maintain freedom. To save the peace, an arms race is started.

More and more people are concerned about keeping the peace, because human or technical failure could trigger an intercontinental catastrophe.

The need for retrofitting will be discussed by the Bundestag in November. In the subsequent vote, a majority decides in favor of retrofitting. The people protested in front of parliament. 260 demonstrators are provisionally arrested, 52 of them are being investigated.

Cruise missiles arrive in Great Britain and the first Pershing II missiles arrive in Germany.

Greens in the Bundestag

The Greens occupy 27 seats in the Bundestag. The symbolic figure of the party is Petra Kelly. The aim of the Greens is to combat the "rigid, sterile parliament full of incompetent men of retirement age". They come from citizens’ groups and want to force the government to change course.


Changes in course are also the aim of the new Federal Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, who has now been elected. The government remains dependent on the coalition partner FDP. The first shadows appear in the distribution of posts and benefices at the cabinet table. The Minister of Economics Otto Graf Lambsdorff, who was involved in the "intellectual and moral" turn, is responsible for the first crisis. In the "Flick Affair", the Flick concern is said to have paid the minister money for his party. In return, the company is said to have received a tax rebate of 800 million marks. Lambsdorff denies this fact. Until a court has decided on the matter, he wants to stay in office.

Nuclear power discussion in Hessen

The discussion about the number of nuclear power plants in Hesse is a main problem in the talks between Hesse’s Prime Minister Holger Borner and the Greens. Although the SPD wins the state elections, it does not achieve an absolute majority. Borner has to ask for administrative assistance from those whom he described as "politically incapable" before the elections. Borner makes it clear that no coalition negotiations should be conducted, but rather a tolerance agreement should be reached.

Red card for Bremen

Shortly before the elections, the bomb burst in Bremen: The traditional Werft AG Weser is to be closed. Bremen’s mayor Hans Koschnik offers to leave, but he is re-elected and wins an absolute majority.

Shipyard and steel industry on the downside

In 1983 things went downhill not only in the shipyard but also in the steel industry. Serious management errors often lead to mass layoffs of workers in Bremen and Hamburg. Workers in Hamburg occupy the Howaldtswerke, the large shipyard, for nine days to protest against the mass layoffs. They fight in vain because the world market situation is so bad.

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